Manage Your Money
Are you in a position where your cell phone contract is up, and you’re free to shop around? This is the best time to try to grab better terms for your monthly plan. Call several carriers before talking with your current provider to see what they can do for you. Do you still have months and months left of your contract? That’s okay – you still might save a few bucks on your phone bill every month, particularly if you’re paying for an unlimited call plan.(Read more...)
Going to the grocery store seems like it should be a simple weekly chore. But grocery visits are filled with many potential pitfalls, including impulse purchases, forgotten items, and overspending. Become a grocery store expert by following WhatCollegeForgot’s top tips for shopping smartly. Get to know the grocery stores in your area, set a budget, stick to your budget, plan your meals, buy unprocessed foods, find coupons and learn to love the unit price, make a shopping list, and find a few easy recipes that are easy to make.
Five years ago, a college graduate earning squat was easily approved to buy a $160,000 townhome with a low five percent down payment. Unfortunately, those days are over. Loans will no longer be available to anyone with a heartbeat, and if you’re planning on making a big purchase, you’ll be expected to put down more of your hard-earned cash. The need for more cash savings won’t just apply to a home purchase, which means there are several other large purchases you should be preparing for today. Learn what you need to save for and how much to save.(Read more...)
It’s time to start shopping for the holidays, but did you save enough money to purchase all of the gifts and goodies you’d like? It’s easy to overindulge on more than just food during the holidays, so make sure you watch what you spend! While researching information to make sure my own budget is in check, I found a really cool personal finance test provided by a news station in Pennsylvania. Reporter Janelle Stelson poses questions that test your budgeting knowledge in one section of the quiz, and there’s also a great summary of what your overall budget allocations should look like.
It’s getting colder (at least it is in Chicago), and that means more time for making hot chocolate and reading books. I’ve found a list of allrecipe.com’s top 20 hot chocolate recipes just for fun, but I’m more interested in talking about books, especially those in the personal finance category. I’m a big advocate of reading any kind of “informative” book – you find answers to your questions, stumble upon new interests, and become more knowledgeable about a topic. Check out these recommended personal finance books.(Read more...)
You’ve heard the same old ideas about saving money: eat out less, quit expensive habits, and shop the sale racks. Once you’ve taken those basic cost cutting steps, you may be looking for more ways to save a few pennies. Check out these top ten ways to save money and cut your budget. Ideas include choosing restaurants with big portions and getting smarter at the grocery store.(Read more...)
You know that you have to pay taxes, but watching your hard-earned money disappear at tax time can be painful. Fortunately, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has a variety of federal tax credits that you may qualify for. When you claim a tax credit, your tax bill is reduced by the value of the credit. When you’re doing your taxes, consult your accountant or professional tax preparer about this list of tax credits.(Read more...)
Your days as a poor college student are over. You’ve entered the workforce and collected a paycheck or two, and now you’re ready to spend it. However, you’ll soon realize how quickly that paycheck disappears if you don’t keep track of your spending habits. A personal budget plan allows you to monitor your expenses, plan for emergencies, and achieve future financial goals. Thankfully, you don’t need a finance degree or advanced spreadsheet skills to create a personal budget plan. This article provides the following five simple budgeting steps to help you get your finances in order.(Read more...)
Saving some cash for unforeseen expenses is just as important as long-term retirement planning. You should keep three to six months of your salary in a savings account in case you lose your job or have an accident that your insurance doesn’t cover. Liquid investments – such as certificates of deposit (CDs) and savings accounts at FDIC-insured banks – are a good way to earn interest on savings that you may need to access in the near future. These investments are also risk-free, which means you won’t lose your principle investment like you could with stock, bond, or mutual fund investments. This article discusses the differences between savings accounts and CDs and helps you choose a risk-free account that's right for you.(Read more...)